"Dniester republic" authorities have yet to announce the purported final returns of elections and two referenda they organized December 24 in that region of Moldova. The referenda asked the voters to approve a constitution defining the "Dniester republic" as an independent state and a proposition in favor of its full accession in its own right to CIS economic, political, and military bodies (which Moldova shuns). The election was for a new Supreme Soviet, for which at least a dozen parties competed. Most parties and the region’s political military leadership espouse various and sometimes competing shades of communism, are allied to communist and nationalist parties in Russia, and campaigned against market reforms. They also clearly implied in their electoral campaign that they see independence from Moldova and accession to the CIS as stages toward either reviving the USSR or joining the Russian Federation. Russian troops based in the region and local residents with Russian citizenship did vote. Preliminary returns claimed a voter turnout of approximately 60 percent and a "yes" answer by more than 80 percent of the votes cast in the two referendums. Russia’s Foreign Ministry declined to disavow the exercise on the grounds that it can not interfere in Moldovan affairs. Prior to the voting, a delegation of Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s party and a message from Gennady Zyuganov and the leadership of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation urged voters to show a strong response. A Communist-led delegation of Duma deputies monitored and blessed the voting. The OSCE and other international organizations ignored invitations to monitor. The Moldovan government perfunctorily declared the exercise unlawful but otherwise ignored it entirely, still hoping against hope in a negotiated compromise with the incumbent leaders in Tiraspol. (14)
Georgia Puts Kitovani on Trial While Ioseliani Awaits Same.